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12 Top Foods to Naturally Lower Cholesterol (#7 is Insane!)
When you have high levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad type of cholesterol, your doctors will call it hypercholesterolemia. According to the CDC, more than one third of Americans suffer from this condition. People of all ages, genders, and ethnicities can have high cholesterol levels.
The problem with high cholesterol is that it greatly increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks. Since high cholesterol levels are a problem that shows no symptoms whatsoever, you should have your levels checked regularly and work diligently to keep them under control to limit your risk of developing serious cardiovascular problems.
Certain factors are out of your control, of course, such as genetics or hypothyroidism; however, many other factors which contribute to high cholesterol are completely under your control such as:
- Poor diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Large waist circumference
Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you lower your cholesterol levels. There are also foods that naturally lower your cholesterol levels. Imagine how great that would be, lowering your cholesterol simply by eating!
Keep reading and find out which of the top 12 foods you should be eating more of in order to lower your cholesterol levels naturally.
1. Dark Chocolate
Wow. Lowering your cholesterol levels has never tasted so sweet! The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study which found that theobromine, a substance found in dark chocolate, lowered LDL cholesterol levels while improving the good type of cholesterol. Dark chocolate has flavonoids and high levels of powerful antioxidants that prevent blood platelets from sticking together, which will help to keep arteries clear. This can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Eating just one ounce of dark chocolate (which contains at least 60 percent cocoa) on a regular basis will help to keep your arteries clear and your cholesterol levels down.
Although this isn’t actually a food, this type of fiber supplement is quite effective and regular consumption can lower your LDL cholesterol levels as much as 10 percent. Psyllium is a powdered fiber that is mixed with water and consumed as a beverage. Always consult with your physician before consumption since it can interfere with the absorption of certain types of prescription medications. Begin with 3 grams of psyllium each day and gradually increase the amount until you are consuming 10 or 12 grams each day. Psyllium is available at all drug stores and most health foods stores.
This is perhaps the best known way to naturally lower cholesterol levels. Oatmeal works by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the blood. The high fiber content of oatmeal will also lower LDL cholesterol levels. As an added bonus, eating oats regularly has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. So make your breakfast a cholesterol lowering one by eating a bowl of oatmeal! You can also add oatmeal to smoothies or consume baked goods that contain oatmeal to lower your cholesterol levels as much as possible.
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